British Freedom Party

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For the similarly named defunct party active in the early 2000s, see Freedom Party (United Kingdom).
British Freedom Party
Chairman Kevin Carroll
Founded October 2010
Headquarters London
Ideology British nationalism,
Euroscepticism,
Anti-Islam[1][2][3]
Political position Right-wing to far-right[4][5]
Politics of the United Kingdom
Political parties
Elections

The British Freedom Party (BFP) was a short-lived far-right political party in the United Kingdom.[4][5] The party was registered on 18 October 2010. The party was de-registered by the Electoral Commission in December 2012[6] after failing to return the annual registration form and £25 fee by the due date of 31 October 2012.[3]

Formation[edit]

The BFP was registered on 18 October 2010 by Peter Mullins (2010-2011 party leader), Peter Stafford (nominating officer) and Simon Bennett (treasurer).[7] According to The Guardian it was created by "disgruntled members" of the British National Party (BNP).[8] The chairman until January 2013 was Paul Weston, a former UK Independence Party candidate in Cities of London and Westminster.[9] He described the party as "central" in orientation.[10]

It formed a pact with the English Defence League (EDL), whereby members of the latter could stand as election candidates under the British Freedom Party name given suitable circumstances.[9] In April 2012, it was announced that the EDL leader, Tommy Robinson, would be named deputy party leader. According to The Guardian he would focus on anti-Islamic strategies.[1] Weston was replaced in early January 2013 by the former deputy leader of the English Defence League Kevin Carroll.[11] Weston went on to found Liberty GB[12] which put forward three candidates, including Weston, for the 2014 European election.[13]

Mission statement[edit]

The stated objectives of the British Freedom Party are "to defend and restore the freedoms, traditions, unity, identity, democracy and independence of the British people, to establish full sovereignty over all our national affairs by restoring the supremacy of the British Parliament, to withdraw from the European Union, to promote democratic British nationalist principles, to promote the social, economic, environmental and cultural interests of the British people and to preserve and promote the ancestral rights and liberties of the British people as defined in the British Constitution."[14]

The party also gives a 20 Point Plan[15] on its main website highlighting some of its key policies. They range from economic to social issues.

Ideology[edit]

The British Freedom Party espouses what it calls "cultural nationalism".[16] Weston said in an interview that the founders of the British Freedom Party:

"...believed that culture, not color [sic], was the important thing in Britain especially multi-cultural Britain. We can have one culture and it's not important about what color or race you come from."[17]

In April 2012, Stephen Tweed, the BFP's Local Party Oganiser for Kings Lynn and West Norfolk,[18] objected to the creation of an Islamic centre in an old pub in King's Lynn, because it would be "exclusive, it will not be for the general public, it will be for Muslims only".[19]

Membership[edit]

According to the party's official return to the Electoral Commission, at the end of 2010 the party had 62 members. The report continues "Our membership to date is approximately 149", but no date is actually provided.[20]

Elections[edit]

The British Freedom Party fielded six candidates in the 2012 local elections, including five in Liverpool. All polled very low, ranging from 0.6 - 4.2% of the vote. In Fazakerley, Peter Stafford received 50 votes, a 1.51% share of the total in that ward.[21][22]

In November 2012, the party stood Kevin Carroll, the deputy leader of the EDL in the Police and Commissioner elections, in Bedfordshire.[23] He came in fourth place with 8,675 votes (10.6%)[24] with a saved deposit.[citation needed]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Mark Townsend, "Britain's far right to focus on anti-Islamic policy", The Observer, 28 April 2012
  2. ^ Michael Holden, "UK anti-Islamist group to form "Freedom Party", Reuters, 23 March 2012
  3. ^ a b Sonia Gable, "British Freedom Party deregistration: the truth – exclusive", Searchlight, 19 December 2012
  4. ^ a b Kevin Rawlinson & Paul Cahalan, "Far right unites in European initiative", The Independent, 27 February 2012
  5. ^ a b British Freedom Party leader to speak in Toronto
  6. ^ Extract from Register of Political Parties Electoral Commission
  7. ^ Electoral Commission ref PP889
  8. ^ Trilling, Daniel (12 September 2012). "10 myths of the UK's far right". The Guardian. Retrieved 1 October 2012. 
  9. ^ a b Kevin Rawlinson (25 November 2011). "English Defence League prepares to storm local elections". The Independent. Retrieved 13 December 2011. 
  10. ^ "Michael Coren interviews Paul Weston". The Arena. 8 December 2011. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1nkPuNop-fA.
  11. ^ http://britishfreedom.org/kev-carroll-becomes-british-freedom-chairman/
  12. ^ Martin Evans, "Election candidate arrested over Churchill speech", The Telegraph, 28 April 2014
  13. ^ "Euro candidate Paul Weston arrested over Islam remarks", BBC News, 28 April 2014
  14. ^ "British Freedom Party Mission Statement". British Freedom Party.  (Archived at Wayback Machine 15 January 2013; retrieved 2 May 2014)
  15. ^ British Freedom, 20 Point Plan (Archived at Wayback Machine 15 January 2013; retrieved 2 May 2014)
  16. ^ British Freedom, What is British Cultural Nationalism? (Archived at Wayback Machine 15 January 2013; retrieved 2 May 2014)
  17. ^ Jerry Gordon "A Future for Britain Free from Islamization: An Interview with British Freedom Party Chairman, Paul Weston", New English Review, March 2012
  18. ^ "Free Speech Banned on YouTube". British Freedom Party.  (Archived at Wayback Machine 22 September 2012; retrieved 2 May 2014)
  19. ^ "Racist messages about King's Lynn Islamic centre taken off website". BBC News Norfolk. 26 April 2012. Retrieved 2 October 2012. 
  20. ^ British Freedom Party Statement of Accounts for the year ended 31 December 2010, page 3 (Available from Electoral Commission searchable database)
  21. ^ Liverpool, Election results by wards
  22. ^ Liverpool Council Eelection Results, Liverpoolecho
  23. ^ "Police and Crime Commissioners: Who’s running?". The Police Foundation. (updated 31 October 20 12). Retrieved 31 July 2012.
  24. ^ "Bedfordshire Tories criticise Nadine Dorries MP as Labour wins", BBC NEWS Beds, Herts & Bucks, 16 November 2012